Independent writers win awards

An Independent contributor Philip Hensher has scooped the Royal Society of Literature's Ondaatje Prize with a fictionalised account of his husband's childhood in what is now Bangladesh.

Described as "an unostentatious tour de force", Scenes from Early Life tells the story of Zaved Mahmood, whom Hensher married in 2009, just before the war of independence from Pakistan erupts. Hensher, a regular contributor to The Independent, beat off competition from five other books.

Separately, Christopher Hirst, was awarded Food Writer of the Year at the Fortnum and Mason Food Awards for his contributions to The Independent Magazine. He accepted a silver F&M hamper.

Also accepting a special judges' prize for her blog was Jack Monroe, featured in The Independent. Her blog agirlcalledjack.com details feeding herself and her son.

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